Beginning with the Friday, August 26 home game against Valliant, administrators have announced that admittance to high school sporting events is changing at Marietta Public Schools.

While in the past, parents have been able to bring their children to games and leave them there to watch the game, based on the age of the children, that practice is changing.

Although students of any ages are welcome to be at games with their parents, starting with the 2022-23 season, students who are in the eighth grade and below will not be able to attend games unless they are accompanied by a parent or other responsible adult.

“In recent years, we’ve dealt with so many discipline issues from kids who are dropped off at games that it’s become a safety issue,” said Superintendent Brandi Naylor. “We’ve had kids as young as primary school who were left alone or with another sibling to babysit. We’ve had vandalism, bullying, and fighting, and some of these kids are walking to and from the stadium alone, often in the dark.”

To ensure the new policy is adhered to, building principals and the school resource officer will be at the gate to determine entrance to the stadium.

The changes are a result of the school district’s desire to provide the safest and least disruptive environment for all spectators to enjoy the game, while also complying with OSSAA guidelines.

“Having children unattended at our sporting events is not a good situation for our students or our school, and it’s a great safety concern, one that we’re going to try to address before anything really serious can happen,” concluded Naylor.